Mio 8390

Our first contestant comes from Mio, which is a spin off from Mitac, who previously sold PDAs under the Mitac Mio brand. Mio is specialising in smartphones and PDAs and the Mio 8390 is its first venture into the European market. Although Mio is trying to distance itself from Mitac and doesn’t have any direct ties with its parent company anymore, it is good to know that it has a good pedigree to build upon.

The Mio 8390 looks like any other recent flip phone, although it is quite large for a GSM phone – in fact it’s only slightly smaller than the current batch of 3G phones. The first impression of the Mio 8390 is that it’s a solid piece of kit – even though the casing is made from silver coloured plastic, it still feels well built.

The first thing you notice with the Mio 8390 is the front display which sports a resolution of 48 x 64 pixels. By default the front display shows an analogue clock, as well as battery and signal strength level meters. By pressing the volume key upwards with the phone closed you can change the display to show a digital clock with date instead of the analogue clock. The front display has a blue backlight and will show the name and the number of incoming callers, saving you the bother of flipping it open if you don’t want to take the call.

Below the display is a charge indicator that glows red while the phone is charging and changes to green when fully charged. Below this is the main speaker which doubles as the speaker for the speakerphone function. To the left of the speaker is the integrated VGA resolution digital camera with its accompanying mirror for self portraits. The camera takes pictures at 640 x 480 pixels which is a fairly common resolution for current camera phones, and captures enough detail for on-the-fly photo opportunities.

Continuing around the outside of the phone you’ll find an aerial that protrudes about 2cm on the right hand side and next to this is a hole for attaching a neck strap. This is also where you will find the IrDA port and a covered 2.5mm connector for the wired hands free headset. On the left hand side is a volume toggle button and a covered slot that accepts standard size SD or MMC memory cards - unfortunately this slot is not SDIO compatible.

The bottom of the phone features a sync connector – this will hook up either through the included cable to USB or to the docking cradle. Both cable and cradle are included in the box as well as a charger connector, in case you want to charge your phone away from the cradle.

The 8390 measures 99.03 x 50.98 x 24.2mm (HxWxD) when closed (not adding in the antenna), while the height increases to about 185mm when the phone is open. It’s not a super light weight device either at 126g with the battery, but smartphones do tend to be larger and heavier than standard mobile phones.

Open the Mio 8390 up and you’re greeted by a 2.2in 176 x 220 pixel colour display. This screen is far superior to the one featured in the Orange SPV and everyone in the TrustedReviews offices commented on its high-quality. The bottom half of the Mio 8390 is taken up by the keypad – like most flip phones, the keypad is very flat and not as tactile as most non-flip units.

The problem with having a flat keypad of this type is that it’s sometimes hard to find the buttons. The four-way navigational pad is slightly raised with a select button in the middle, on the left hand side of this is a softkey which defaults as the select button for the Start menu. Below this is the Home key, which takes you back to the Home screen from anywhere in the phone’s menu system.

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